Category Archives: Special days in July and August

Right, Left…or Mirror?

Basic cursive writing worksheet


August 13 is Left Handers’ Day, a time for South Paws to celebrate their talents.  Left-handedness is more common in twins than in singles, and overall left-handed people are also usually more physically balanced.  Although lefties were once believed to be cursed and have direct links to evil, now it’s obvious that they have an advantage in sports like basketball, tennis, fencing and boxing.

Studies have also shown that even temporary “practice” activities that make lefties use their right hands and righties use their left hands is a good challenge and also encourages creativity and clearer thinking.  For a real challenge, also try “Mirror Writing,” which is reversed writing that resembles ordinary writing reflected in a mirror.   Emergency vehicles like ambulances often have their identification also written in mirror writing so drivers can look in their rear-view mirrors and read it clearly.

Ambulance in mirror writing

In the movie (and the book) THE SHINING, Danny writes REDRUM, which is murder in mirror writing, and in MEMENTO “facts” are tattooed on Leonard’s chest so he can read them in reflection.   Episodes of “The Simpsons” and “Scooby-Doo” have used it, too.

I was printing words and coloring ambidextrously when I started first grade.  The teacher hit my hand with a ruler and said I had to choose which hand I would use…and my choice had to be right-handed because the world was set up for right-handed use.  (This teacher retired at the end of that year.)

So at school I became only right handed, and it seemed to be working out fine…until at home and on the sly I began mirror writing.  I’m still grateful that my mom did not make a big deal of this or tell me I had to stop. Instead, she got me chalk to write in mirror writing on the sidewalk, and she also asked me to write stories in mirror writing so she could learn to read it.   After awhile I decided I was happy using it as a game and I went on to other things.

August 16 is National Tell A Joke Day.   I’m including this special day because of the comments made on last week’s blog post about the time I took my mother to her senior exercise class where the favorite activity was doing the Hokey Pokey.

UK blogger Jenny Pellet wrote that “Here we call it ‘Hokey Cokey,’” which still has me smiling.  And Colorado writer Nancy Parker Brummett shared this: “When the inventor of the Hokey Pokey died, they had trouble getting him in the coffin. They put his right foot in but then his left foot came out!”  She had me taking this seriously until the final line of the joke!  Thank you, Jenny and Nancy, for sharing these with us. On August 16 we should all tell a joke to make others laugh. The world definitely needs more good laughter.

try your hand at mirror writing



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, just doing the best we can, lessons about life, lessons for great-grandchildren, making a difference, Special days in July and August, special quotations, writing, writing exercises

Getting Ready for DOG DAYS

Wednesday, July 31, is "Mutts' Day"--our family prefers to call it "Uniquely Amazing Day" in honor of Maggie. (all photos by Marylin Warner)

Wednesday, July 31, is “Mutts’ Day”–our family prefers to call it “Uniquely Amazing Dog Day” in honor of Maggie. (all photos by Marylin Warner)

Hi, Mom,

It’s almost August, what you called “Dog Days,” the sultry days of summer. I remember how you picked squash, tomatoes, onions, green beans and lettuce–and I picked the beets and carrots in my garden–early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it wasn’t so hot. By August your garden was always in over-growth mode, and you shared fresh vegetables with friends, neighbors, employees, and anyone you thought might enjoy some fresh garden goodies.

But we still have wonderful days left July, and you always cautioned us not to wish our lives away. So as we look forward to August, let’s also remind our blog friends of some special days they can still enjoy in July.

Today, July 27, is Take Your Pants For A Walk Day (Seriously; I don’t make these things up.).  What this really means is to take your pants for a walk while you’re wearing them. Get off the couch, go for a walk, get moving, breathe deeply.  Walk tomorrow, too.  Get in shape and work up an appetite for Monday.

Monday, July 29, is National Lasagna Day.  But what if it’s too hot to bake your own lasagna?  Invite a friend to go out for Italian food, the tomato-y, cheese-y, garlic-y goodness of lasagna. Clink glasses and toast life with wine or iced tea; the thought is more important than the beverage. But don’t order dessert. Wait until tomorrow…

Tuesday, July 30, is National Cheesecake Day.  (I’m still not sure how these “special days” receive their designations, but surely there’s a plan in this somewhere).  If you’re concerned about your good cholesterol numbers, here’s a healthy tip from Dr. Oz:  add fresh blueberries to your cheesecake, and sprinkle on pecans or pistachios to help lower the bad cholesterol levels.

Wednesday, July 31, is Mutts’ Day, though our family doesn’t like to call it that.  (See picture above.)

August is just around the corner.  Special designations for August include “Admit You’re Happy Month,”  “Family Fun Month,”  “Romance Awareness Month,” and “National Picnic Month.”  Doesn’t sound like Dog Days to me!

To get started, plan now for the first week of August: “National Simplify Your Life Week.”  Hmm…if you need energy to plan your simplification process, repeat July’s days for lasagna and cheesecake…and taking your pants for a walk.

Finally, here’s a serious reminder:  August is also “What Will Be Your Legacy?” month.

While we don’t want to wish our lives away, we should consider what our lives mean and how we’ll be remembered. According to my mother, that will be our legacy.

Grace and Gannon on the hiking trail in Buena Vista, CO.

Grace and Gannon on the hiking trail in Buena Vista, CO.

"River Walking" in Buena Vista, CO --this counts as an activity on July 27.

“River Walking” in Buena Vista, CO –this also counts as an activity on July 27.


Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, Fort Scott Kansas, memories for great-grandchildren, Special days in July and August